An X-ray is a diagnostic imaging tool used to create pictures of the inside of the body. The images are created through low-doses of electromagnetic radiation passing through the body. The parts of the body that are denser—such as bones—absorb a greater amount of radiation and appear brighter on the X-ray images. Softer parts of the body, such as muscle and fat, appear darker.
X-rays are used to diagnose broken and fractured bones, joint problems, tumors, some infections and enlarged organs as well as some digestive problems. X-rays are quick and painless. The amount of radiation exposure from an X-ray is very small, but young children and babies in the womb are more sensitive to the risks of exposure. Inform your physician or the X-ray technologist if you are pregnant.